Sunday, February 07, 2016

Chicago: "The Superintendent of Police says that the Communists are drilling in “circle” of twelve, so as to avoid exciting alarm, and that a great many of them have arms,–shot-guns, revolvers, Enfield rifles, Springfield rifles, etc...."

 Letter from Chicago.


Chicago, April 26, 1878.

       To the Editor of the Free Press and Times:

       There is a very serious prospect of another Communist war in our city, at no distant day, and of much more formidable proportions than that of last Summer, which caused so much loss of life and damage to property.

       The facts, so far as your correspondent is enabled to make them public, are these:

       For some months, the police authorities have been aware that there were numerous Communistic organizations throughout the city, and at the city election, held the first Tuesday of this present month, they came forward with sufficient strength to elect their Aldermen in both the 13th and 17th wards. Previous to that day their movements had been secret, but since the result of that election, they have grown bolder, and now their leaders assert that they have the same right to bear arms as the organized militia.

       For several weeks they have been secretly drilling in small squads, in various halls stables and cellars, and within the past week have been forming into companies. Last Sunday morning, at a very early hour, a large body of these men was discovered drilling on the open drairies, west of the city. The organization numbers from 6,000 to 10,000, and it is positively ascertained that over two thousand of them are armed with guns, many of which are the Henry-Martini breech-loading rifles, and a communist leader is known to be now in New York purchasing arms and ammunition for this city. Major General A.C. Ducat, commanding the State troops, says: I do believe this subject is graver one than most people are aware of; it is one of very serious consideration.” The Chicago Times says:

       There is no doubt whatever that at the first intimation of a break between laborer and employer, the communists stand ready with their guns to enforce their ideas. Nothing short of a complete revolution in the employment of labor will satisfy them. There must be no employer but the laborer himself. Co-operation in all branches of business is his dream, and he will attempt to realize it by force, and soon, too.

       The creed of these men [i]s that “property is robbery,” and the industrious and thrifty must distribute the accumulated profits of their labor among those who will not work or save. When the next riot comes, instead of a mob, the authorities will have to confront an army, sufficiently equipped and drilled and commanded by persons who have acquired skill and knowledge in the military service of France and Germany.

       The Superintendent of Police says that the Communists are drilling in “circle” of twelve, so as to avoid exciting alarm, and that a great many of them have arms,–shot-guns, revolvers, Enfield rifles, Springfield rifles, etc., quite a number, who were soldiers, having the guns they had during the rebellion. He has detectives among them, who attend their meetings and know all their plans, and, while they are peace able and law-abiding now, they are liable to


       He deplores the fact that the police force is without guns, saying it is impossible to protect the people in case of a riot unless every man has a repeating rifle. The Departments of Boston, New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville. in truth, in every large city, are armed and drilled, while Chicago is the only large city in the country whose police force is at the mercy of a prepared mob. The men now have no encouragement to risk their lives, being poorly paid and badly cared for by the city; and, besides, there are less than 350 to look after 500,000 people. “The citizens of Chicago,” said he, yesterday afternoon, “do not realize the extent of the mine under their feet, or they would make preparations for the explosion when it comes.” A reporter told him of a subscription in the Board of Trade, and asked how the money could be most advantageously used. “In buying guns.” was the reply.

       A Communist leader who was interviewed stated that the Socialist party was working now under the instructions of a National Executive Committee, whose headquarters are at Cincinnati. A circular issued to the different Sections of the country, some four months ago, advised the various committees to organize companies in each city, town, and hamlet, where it was possible, throughout the United States. In this State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, California and Massachusetts, this has been carried out to the letter. It is claimed that in New York city there are twenty battalions organized, having an enrolled membership of over 16,000 men, largely composed of Poles, Bohemians, Scandinavians, Germans, Frenchmen, and a few Irish, under the lead of the notorious Megy and Schwab. In California the best organization exists. Pittsburg is the armory for the party. The guns and ammunition that they possess, it is claimed, are stored there, because, the leaders hold, “that the boys there know how to use them.”

       It is claimed that the riots of last Summer were started prematurely, but this time there is to be no failure. The work is to commence in Chicago at a given signal, when simultaneously Schwab and Kearney and the other leaders will gather their hosts together, and the work of carnage and destruction commence.

       Our city is in a very poor condition to put down any serious uprising, as the police force has been greatly reduced on account of the serious financial embarrassment of the Municipal Treasury. We have perhaps two thousand volunteer militia and police–ready for service. These are manifestly insufficient for the task which may at any moment be imposed upon them. The “reserve militia” number at least fifty thousand men, but they are not organized, equipped, or drilled. There may be some exaggeration as to the purposes of the Communists; but that we have a very numerous “dangerous class” here is beyond question.

Yours,     J.N.H.

[Burlington Weekly Free Press, Burlington, VT., Friday Morning, May 10, 1878.Vol. LI. New Series, Vol. XXIV. Number 46. Pg. 1]
 Also See:

Communism In America

Hmmmmmm. Notice how that "In this State [Illinois], Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, California and Massachusetts", are all 'gun control' Mecca's? Thought provoking, yes?

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